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HIST 151
Paul Sedra

Zionism 8/10/2012 10:38:00 AM One has to understand modern political Zionism as one of the several nationalists movements that emerged in Europe during the 19 thcentury. This modern political Zionism, as we call it, is different from the traditional wish among Jews to return to Zion in, so far, as the orthodox believe that this was a matter that god alone could decide. o For orthodox Jews, the return to Zion represented indicated redemption And in contrast, in many ways as we hope to demonstrate in the midst of this lecture, what we call modern political Zionism, that is the Zionism that we say emerges among many nationalisms in the late 19 th th and early 20 centuries. This is, in an important sense, a secular movement given that proponents of this modern political Zionism. They reject both assimilation into a broader European culture. o But they also, at the same time, reject an entirely faith based culture. So we find them straddling some very interesting positions. th The principle dilemma that Jews faced in 19 century Europe was a particular contradiction, it was a contradiction between the promises of a quality that existed in the law, in many places, and the failure of European states to fulfill that promise in practice. This contradiction was particularly glaring in eastern Europe, as Jews theyre faced wide spread and repeated violent prosecutions. The four most impetus, though, to the Jewish emancipation, movements for Jewish emancipation, was the French revolution. The French revolution was key in this during which Jews were promised equal citizenship as long as, and this was an important paragon established by the French revolution, Jews shed their communal ties in favor of an individual subjectivity. We see emancipation following, that which happens in France, in o Great Britain in 1858. o Switzerland in 1866. o Austria in 1867. o Italy in 1870. o and then in Germany in 1871. However, we mentioned eastern Europe before, emancipation of the Jews of Russia would not emerge until as late as 1915. And so, it is for this reason that one can really look to eastern Europe for those initial stirrings of Zionist thoughts and organization. th In the 19 century, three quarters of the worlds Jews resided in the eastern Europe (an important statistics). o Particularly in the lands of, what was then, the Russian empire. o Under the partition of Boland in 1772, among Russia, Prussia and Austria, the Jewish population of Russia expanded considerably. And Catherine the Great saw this as a potential problem. And in 1790 and 1791, Catherine the Great decided that Jews could live only in particular areas of the Russian empire, namely western areas of the empire, Striching from the Baltic sea to the black sea. Essentially what did this mean? it meant that Jews could only reside in territory that was formally at Boland or in southwest Russia. In these areas of the Russia empire, poverty was an enormous problem. Areas, in which, the common language of Jews was Yiddish. Beyond the problem of poverty though, Jews faced encroachments from the state. We already see the form of dictates that Jews only can reside in particular areas of the empire. But there are also encroachments from the state in the form of legislation, which regulate other very significant parts of their existence. o For instance, they were prevailed into particular fields of work, in which they were though not to threaten the Jobs of non-Jews. o So, there were prescriptions as to the particular fields of work that Jews could take on. And further, from 1827 onwards, Jews were subject to conscription into the army of the Zar and yet, and this was the legal distinction, in contrast to most conscripts Jews were expected to remain in the army for 25 years. Again, very significant discrimination. However, this is not to say, and it would be a mistake to think so, that Zionism emerge simply as a reaction to discrimination. And, indeed, one can not grasp the intellectual roots of Zionism, the modern political movement that we are discussing, without an understanding of the Haskalah movement, otherwise known as the Jewish enlightenment. Jewish enlightenment :- This Jewish enlightenment had emerged in Germany in the late 18 thcentury. With the emblematic figure of Moses Mendelssohn, the author of implication of mathematical prove to metaphysics. The participants in the movement, in this Jewish enlightenment movement, were attracted particularly to the notion of legal equality. o Equality before the law. And, in a sense of a peace for that desire for legal equality, they viewed education as critically important to the realization of their aspirations. o A realization above all social mobility within society. This was, its very difficult to speak bout the Jewish enlightenment as sort of coherent movement there were lots of diverse trends
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